When I was touring colleges, I spent endless amounts of energy worrying about my embarrassing parents. That being said, parents, embarrass your kids as much as you want, but there are effective and ineffective ways to make it happen. It’s always good to remember that your student is the one going to college. However, you may be footing the bill, so at the very least you should get all of your questions answered. Tours are a time for your student to learn more about Pitzer, but it also tends to be an instance of gauging the “feel” of the school and overall “fit”, and there might be some questions that slip your child’s mind in the overwhelming and exciting process. So parents, here are some great, productive questions to remember to ask your tour guide.
1. Find out what health resources — like counseling, trauma support, health services, gym classes and facilities, etc. — are available for students and where they are on campus. This is not only your student’s new school, but also their home, and it is important and comforting to hear about what health and supportive resources are accessible on campus.
2. Ask about the surrounding area to get a sense if this is somewhere your student may want to live for four years. How is the college connected to the city or town it is in? Do students interact with locals? What is there to do? How close are doctors, pharmacies, grocery stores, etc.?
3. What academic support resources are there? Ask about resources like career centers, academic advising, writing centers, and peer tutoring. It is worth getting familiar with any features that will make the transition to college smoother.
4. When it comes to the living situation, let your student ask the big questions on their mind, and maybe suggest they take pictures of the dorms so planning for moving in can be easier. As a parent, ask your tour guide what kind of peer support is offered in the dorms, like resident advisers, mentoring programs, or how accessible administrators are. These are big things that prospective students often forget that can affect the quality of college living!
5. Really consider Pitzer’s five core values and ask how they impact our day-to-day learning as students. Do the core values fit those of your student? We stress them so much in our tours and info sessions for a reason!
Don’t let the important questions slip your mind while you are visiting schools. There are several factors that can help you make an informed choice and determine whether a college is the right fit. Take advantage of the knowledgeable, enthusiastic tour guides and admission representatives who can answer your questions about the entire college experience!
Posted by Lizzy Freedman ’18